The failure of the PG&E-operated Butte Canal that caused a landslide into Butte Creek last week, turning the water a sludgy-orange, is under investigation by the law enforcement arm of the state’s Department of Fish & Wildlife.
“We’re very aware of the situation there,” said Peter Tira, an information officer for the department. “Butte Creek has the largest spring run of wild Chinook salmon in California, and that’s the reason we monitor it so closely.”read more
A groundwater management board charged with managing a large portion of Butte County’s water supply met a tide of resistance July 26 to a new fee that will be levied on Chico property owners.
The fee was approved by the Vina Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Board in a 5-0 vote and set at $1.54 per acre for the 2023-24 property tax year. It will thus be almost unnoticeable for small-parcel owners, but ranchers who spoke at the public hearing, held in the Chico City Council chamber, objected that it was inherently unfair to large landowners who aren’t extracting water.read more
Chico-area property owners have through July 26 to reject a proposed new fee for groundwater management that will otherwise appear on their December tax bills.
The annual per-acre fee would fund and implement a new groundwater management plan for the area known as the Vina Subbasin. That subbasin, which holds a significant portion of Butte County’s water, stretches from the Durham area northward to the Butte County line and includes Chico.
The fee will appear on property tax bills if it’s not rejected in what’s called a “protest election” underway now. Property owners who are opposed can send a written protest by July 26 to Vina Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (see address at end of story) or voice their objection at a public hearing that day.read more
Ballots on whether to form the Tuscan Water District (TWD) in northwestern Butte County have been mailed to landowners — without any argument opposing a formation. The proposed district was the subject of debate for hours at public meetings earlier this year.
Only an argument in favor of formation of TWD -– which will have a landowner-based voting structure that will give the largest enterprises thousands of votes -– appears on the ballot that must be postmarked by Sept. 20. The ballot asks, with a single question, whether TWD should be approved with an annual parcel assessment of up to $10 per acre. Landowning voters can also choose nine people for the board of directors from a list of 11 candidates, most of whom are known already as TWD proponents.read more
by Leslie Layton & Natalie Hanson posted May 29, 2022
At a time when Butte County faces pressing problems -– from homelessness to drought -– a record amount of money is pouring into the race for the District 2 seat on the Board of Supervisors.
In the final weeks leading up to the June 7 primary election, last-minute contributions flowed into the race and a new political action committee (PAC) emerged, Butte Forward, that formed at the end of March to oust incumbent Debra Lucero.
Lucero faces two challengers, Chico police Sgt. Peter Durfee and environmental health and safety manager Carl Jeffries, as well as opposition from Butte Forward that had collected $40,840 by the end of the May reporting period. Contributions to the PAC, which calls itself “Butte Forward PAC, Opposing Debra Lucero for Supervisor 2022” on its Facebook page, came from many of the same families that founded or supported formation of the Tuscan Water District.read more
by Todd Bishop Sacramento Valley Mirror posted April 20, 2022
Glenn County — State and local officials have been quietly looking into the emergence of numerous sinkholes starting last summer and fall on agricultural land east of Orland, in the area of Stony Creek, according to newly released public records.
Many of the sinkholes are relatively small and shallow, a few feet wide and less than a foot deep, for example. However, there are isolated reports of bigger sinkholes, as wide as 10 to 12 feet.read more